Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Working Cattle

Recently we were made an offer that we couldn't resist, namely, a partnership with a cattle-farming friend of ours who is getting to the age that he would like to slow down a bit, but isn't ready to hang up the cattle prod yet.

So, suddenly, we have found ourselves in the cattle business, and we're loving every sweaty minute of it! (Well, almost all of them!)

There are 50 + beef cows, and um, somewhere between 100-150 dairy heifers. That makes for a fair amount of chores to be done.

This morning, we met at the corral around 5:30, there was a lot of work to be done, vaccinating and putting in fly tags and the like. We wanted to get an early start, and move those girls through before the 90 + degree day had fully arrived. Heat stress is not good for cows, or their owners.

Getting set up. David and Chad worked the squeeze chute.

Joe and Jonathan brought the cows up to the chute.

Josiah and I took notes. Or to say it another way, I took notes, and Josiah bawled louder than the cows every time a gate crashed. That lasted through the first 45 cows, then he fell asleep. (5:30 is too early for an 8 month old.) After that, he jumped and yelled everytime a gate was slammed, but kept on sleeping until it was all over!
(And Mama makes a mental note to leave baby with a sitter the next time she helps!)

When it was all said and done, we had worked 79 head of cows, calves and one bull, in just about 2 hours. We felt pretty good about getting so much accomplished bright and early on a beautiful morning!